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Can synthetic diesel improve air quality in China?

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Greyrock Energy, Inc. have announced that it will participate with Tsinghua University of Beijing, China and Desert Research Institute (DRI) of Reno, Nevada to quantify the positive impact on air quality from the use of synthetic diesel fuels as compared with petroleum derived diesel fuels. Beijing was chosen as the initial focus of this study given concerns relative to air quality, as recently reported in Chemical and Engineering News, January 2017.

Greyrock’s patented gas-to-liquids process produces synthetic diesel fuels that meet or exceed diesel fuel specifications established by ASTM D975. The improved characteristics of the Greyrock synthetic diesel over petroleum-based alternatives include higher cetane, virtually no sulfur or aromatics, and excellent lubricity. Greyrock’s synthetic diesel burns more cleanly and efficiently than comparable petroleum based fuels resulting in reductions of particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOX) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions.

Greyrock synthetic fuels can also improve diesel vehicle economy and extend the life of diesel engines by providing superior lubricity. Synthetic fuels may be used for other practical applications such as cooking and domestic heating, potentially resulting in up to 100 times less particulate emissions than coal fired stoves.

Drs. Hoekman and Wang, of DRI, one of the leading research institutes for measuring and modelling ambient air quality globally, commented, “We look forward to collaborating with Tsinghua and Greyrock on this study.” DRI is particularly interested in studying the multiple benefits of using China’s agricultural waste to generate synthetic fuels, thereby reducing air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from biomass burning and finding better uses for China’s large stock of agricultural waste.

“We are excited to work with Greyrock and DRI on this effort,” remarked Professor Ye Wu, Associate Dean of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University. Tsinghua, a leading university in Asia, will lead the efforts to carry out the vehicle emission modelling in Beijing.

Having worked on various projects with Tsinghua and DRI for over 20 years, Dr. Dennis Schuetzle, Greyrock’s Chief Technology Officer, reported that “The models and databases developed in this study will be key to future efforts to access and improve air quality in other large cities such as Los Angeles, Mumbai, Bangkok and Tokyo.”

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